Australia will be home to Boeing’s largest autonomous systems development programme outside of the United States after a new partnership agreement with the Queensland Government. Over the next three years, Boeing will develop its autonomous systems capability in partnership with local businesses to increase the independent operation of air and sea vehicles.
Chris Raymond, VP and General Manager, Autonomous Systems, Boeing, said the programme formed part of Boeing’s global growth strategy to accelerate “game-changing” autonomous technology for commercial and defence systems.
He stated: “As autonomy becomes increasingly common, Boeing will continue to pioneer autonomous technologies from seabed to space.”
Working with local businesses
Shane Arnott, Director of Boeing’s Phantom Works International business in Australia, said, “The Queensland Government’s clear vision to invest in cutting-edge industries is backed by a progressive air space regulator, the state’s innovation culture and a talented network of local suppliers – creating an outstanding environment to innovate and experiment with autonomous vehicles and the systems and sensors that drive them.
“Boeing will work with small-to-medium sized Queensland businesses to develop transformative ‘brain-on-board’ technology. Our program will complement the work undertaken by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre, taking research outcomes and developing them into exportable commercial products for the global autonomous market.”
The announcement marks the twentieth anniversary of Boeing’s partnership with Queensland and will mean 131 new jobs for Boeing’s Queensland workforce. The broad area situational awareness system for unmanned aerial systems that was developed by Boeing in partnership with Queensland businesses was exported to the US in late 2017 and completed its first flight test in Mississippi on January 2018.